"So Christ has truly set us free.
Now make sure that you stay free
and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law."
(Galatians 5:1, NLT)
The Galatians had a pretty significant problem. If you have access to an audio version of the book, it only takes about 20 minutes to listen to the whole thing and, if you do, I think you'll see the same thing I do. There problem was a focus on external stuff rather than on their own hearts and the redemptive freedom offered in Christ. They were so hung up on "lists" that Paul has to lay down to opposing lists, one of which we commonly call the Fruit of the Spirit. They were missing the best and biggest thing - complete freedom from who they were.
Today, in the space of about 15 minutes, this lesson was hammered home to me (and others at church with me) by a 19-year-old college girl. She spoke of things happening on her campus (a state school, mind you) and then she played a video she made about her past. I won't go into the details, but the phrase that stuck out was this:
"What am I trying NOT to feel?"
I'm still chewing on this. When I run toward some empty "stuff" instead of engage, why don't I ask myself this same question? If this young lady can learn in the space of a few years that Jesus offers freedom from who we were and invites us to abandon ourselves to him, why do any of us keep stuffing hollow garbage into our souls? By searching for "something else" we are looking to capture a feeling and it won't happen. It is all anti-feeling.
The Crooked Path promises one thing. God walks with me in the person of my Divine Older Brother and stands ahead of me calling as my Father. Embracing that and giving up all my externals is the only way to find freedom in its fullest. I think I finally saw that clearly today ... and it took a wise 19-year-old to point it out. I guess an old dog can learn after all.